Neringa Bagdonaite1, Rasa Pilkauskaitė-Valickienė1
1Mykolas Romeris University, Institute of Psychology, Vilnius, Lithuania
Pathological gambling and nicotine addiction has been clearly recognized as addictions in the DSM-IV and International Classification of Disease. Internet addiction has been proposed as an impulse control disorder for the DSM-V text revised. Previous research has demonstrated strong associations between the establishment of various addictive behaviours, comorbid psychopathology and impulsive personality traits. Total of 91 adults, 3 experimental groups with 21 smokers, 21 gamblers, 25 frequent Internet users, and 25 normal controls participated in a self-report survey assessing if symptoms of anxiety and depression with impulsive personality traits is linked to various addictive behaviours: Internet social networking (i.e., compulsive and excessive use associated with negative outcomes), pathological gambling and smoking. Trait impulsivity, sensation seeking and depression were measured by self-report questionnaires: Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, Sensation Seeking Score, Hospital anxiety and depression scale. To assess addictive behaviours Young’s Internet Addiction Test, the South Oaks Gambling Screen were used respectively. Nicotine dependence was assessed using the Fragerstrom questionnaire. Findings of this study revealed that target group participants were significantly higher burdened with depressive symptoms, impulsiveness and sensation seeking traits than the healthy controls. Although present study did not undertake to evaluate whether those traits led to addictions or is a cause of addiction, but rather the results implies that addiction itself may well be a method of self-medicating or dealing with these psychological issues. The current study presents the models of self-medication addressing each category of addictive behaviours and its combination with specific personality characteristics. The models of self-medicating adds profoundly to better understanding of complex mechanisms underlying addictive behaviour.